The world cocoa market distinguishes between two broad categories of cocoa beans: “fine or flavour” cocoa beans, and “bulk” or “ordinary” cocoa beans. As a generalisation, fine or flavour cocoa beans are produced from Criollo or Trinitario cocoa-tree varieties, while bulk cocoa beans come from Forastero trees. There are, however, known exceptions to this generalisation. Nacional trees in Ecuador, considered to be Forastero-type trees, produce fine or flavour cocoa. On the other hand, Cameroon cocoa beans, produced by Trinitario-type trees and whose cocoa powder has a distinct and sought-after red colour, are classified as bulk cocoa beans.
The share of fine or flavour cocoa in the total world production of cocoa beans is just under 5% per annum. Virtually all major activity over the past five decades has involved bulk cocoa.